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What is Drip Edge on Your Roof? (Why You Need It, Cost, and More)

June 18th, 2021 | 5 min. read

What is Drip Edge on Your Roof? (Why You Need It, Cost, and More)

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Your roof is a combination of different components and roofing materials that come together to protect your home and your family from the elements. But most homeowners don't know these materials or why they’re important to your roof.  

One of the materials your roof absolutely needs is drip edge. Because every roof needs it, we’re going to break down this crucial roofing component. 

We here at Bill Ragan Roofing Company want you and every homeowner in the market for a new roof to understand the investment they’re about to make. That’s why we give you the information needed to understand what impacts the price, so you’re able to make the right purchasing decisions.

By the end of this article, you'll know what drip edge is, why your roof needs it, and more. And don’t forget to stick around until the very end to continue learning about the other crucial roofing materials you need to know. 

What is drip edge? 

The first thing to know about drip edge is what it actually is and where it’s located on your roof. 

drip edge

Drip edge is metal flashing installed at the edges of the roof to keep water away from your fascia and from getting underneath your roofing components. If your roof doesn’t have drip edge, water gets behind your gutters and rots out both your fascia board and roof decking.

When getting a roof replacement, your drip edge must be replaced. Be aware, some roofing contractors leave it off your estimate to lower their prices to beat out the competition. 

To avoid this happening to you, it’s crucial not to look for the lowest-priced roof replacement you can find. 

The building code that requires drip edge 

Building codes ensure your home and roof are in compliance with your state’s requirements to pass a home inspection. One of the most important codes has to do with drip edge. 

According to code R905.2.8.5 of the 2018 IRC: a drip edge shall be provided at eaves and gables of shingle roofs. This code means that drip edge must be installed on the edges of your roof. 

Not only does it need to be installed on your roof to be in compliance with this code, but it has to be installed correctly. 

The rest of code R905.2.8.5 states: adjacent pieces of drip edge shall be overlapped a minimum of 2 inches. Drip edge shall extend a minimum of a ¼ of an inch below roof decking and extend up a minimum of 2 inches. Underlayment must be installed over the drip edge along the eaves and under the underlayment on gables. 

Remember, some roofing contractors cut corners by leaving off drip edge or are too lazy to install it correctly. If this happens, it’s going to be a lot harder to pass a home inspection because your roof isn’t up to code. 

The circumstances when drip edge isn’t required

You just learned that drip edge needs to be installed on your roof to be up to code. However, there are circumstances when drip edge isn’t “technically” required. 

If you have prebent aluminum fascia that’s flush with your roof’s decking, that serves as your drip edge. There’s also rake molding that serves as drip edge on homes built before the industry started using the aluminum fascia.

Just like normal drip edge, aluminum fascia and rake molding goes along the eaves and covers the edge of your roof’s deck to prevent water from going where it’s not supposed to. If your home has either one, you don't need drip edge. 

The cost of drip edge

Drip edge is always going to be included in your roof replacement. Because of this, it’s going to have an impact on the price you’ll pay for your new roof

The standard drip edge used (aluminum) is going to be around $2.00 a linear foot, including labor to install. If you upgrade to a different metal (steel or copper), it’s going to cost even more.

But keep in mind, the roofing contractor you hire has a big impact on the price you’ll pay to install drip edge and the rest of your roofing materials. While the roofing materials should cost the same across the board, every roofing company has different overhead and labor prices. 

So, even if one charges $2.00 per linear foot, another can charge $3.00 or more because their labor costs are higher. Be aware, this price is based on getting a roof replacement only. 

If you need to retro fit or add drip edge to your current roof, the labor cost will be much higher.  

Learn the rest of the important roofing materials

Now you know what drip edge on your roof is, why you need it, and more. Remember, not only is drip edge a crucial roofing component, but it’s a code that home inspectors look for. 

To avoid being taken advantage of or failing a home inspection, it’s crucial to hire a great roofing contractor that won’t cut corners. After reading this, you’re a little more informed about the materials that make up your roof. 

However, there are even more materials that you and every homeowner needs to know about before reaching out to a roofing contractor. Because we want you to have the knowledge required to make the right decisions, we wrote another article breaking down the 9 important roofing materials that are part of your roof replacement. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners in Nashville understand what exactly they’re paying for when they get a new roof. We go over all the roofing materials and your options to ensure you get a roof system that fits your budget and lasts for decades. Even if you don’t go work with us, at least you’ll have the power to make the right purchasing decisions. 

Check out 9 Materials Included With Your Roof Replacement to learn the important roofing materials that make up your roof.

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